US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday emphasized to Egyptian Minister of Defense General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi the importance of the Jan.14-15 constitutional referendum in Egypt.
In a statement summarizing the telephone conversation between the two defence leaders, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, said they discussed the importance of the constitutional referendum for Egypt’s overall political transition. Hagel, Kirby added, stressed the importance of a transparent referendum in which all Egyptians have the opportunity to cast their vote freely.
In addition, the press secretary added, Hagel also urged the minister to ensure that international and domestic observers have full access to the proceedings.
According to the press released issued by the American Forces Press Service, Hagel and El-Sisi reaffirmed their commitment to strong U.S.-Egyptian relations, Kirby said, and the secretary wished General El-Sisi a blessed Mawlid al-Nabi (the Birth of Prophet Mohamed), an Islamic holiday.